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eBay claims unreliable mobile networks cost UK economy £1.29bn

14 ноября 2011

eBay on Friday warned that patchy mobile network coverage, slow connection speeds and poor reliability is costing the U.K. economy £1.29 billion per year in lost sales.

"The reliability of mobile broadband currently significantly inhibits m-commerce sales," the online auction Website said in a 'Mobile Manifesto' submitted to Ofcom in response to its March consultation on next year's planned spectrum auction.

"At eBay in the UK we now see around 10% of sales by value transacted on mobile devices, but we need the right infrastructure in the UK to match this demand," Miriam Lahage, vice president of global fashion at eBay, stated.

eBay said it was disappointed with how the U.K. telecom regulator neglected m-commerce during its consultation, which explicitly mentioned video streaming, social networking, mobile gaming, instant messaging, and email, but omitted the potential impact that the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum would have on mobile retail growth.

"M-commerce sales are already worth some £1.35bn to the UK economy, and are set to grow fourteen-fold over the next ten years," to £19.26 billion by 2021, said eBay. "It is therefore essential for Ofcom to seriously consider the interests of m-commerce when considering what regulatory approach to take towards mobile broadband provision."

The estimated £1.29 billion loss was calculated by retail analysts Verdict Research - commissioned by eBay - which discovered that a large proportion of consumers (64%) believe connection speed is a "significant barrier" to m-commerce.

Furthermore, 63% of customers believed network reliability was a problem; 62% cited cost; and 52% were dissatisfied with network coverage. However, eBay claimed that some of the largest barriers to m-commerce, such as a phone's screen size, online security, and badly optimised Websites, are beyond the control of operators.

To address the issue, eBay said there is an opportunity to drive higher m-commerce sales by improving mobile coverage on major transport routes.

When asked to prioritise potential policy objectives, respondents overwhelmingly favoured reducing costs, followed by improving broadband coverage on transport routes such as railways and roads.

"We believe Ofcom should focus on improving coverage on major transport routes, because this is where investment will make the most difference," said eBay.

Meanwhile earlier this week, Ofcom CEO Ed Richards insisted to Total Telecom that its plan to auction LTE spectrum is "on schedule" for the fourth quarter of 2012.


Источник: Total Telecom

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